World Heart Day 2020: Tips to keep your heart healthy during the pandemic
By Dr Sudheer Koganti, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Citizens Specialty Hospital
World Heart Day is celebrated on the 29th of this month every year.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more people die from heart attack and brain strokes every year than any other cause, with majority of the affected population recorded in low- and middle-income countries.
People with pre-existing habitual risk factors like smoking, eating an unhealthy diet or leading stressful life are particularly vulnerable. This risk can be further exacerbated if they have pre-morbid conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and high blood cholesterol.
Only by controlling and making small changes to our lives, can reduce the risk of developing a cardiac ailment or heart disease.
This year has been unprecedented due to the pandemic. COVID-19 posed a particular risk to patients with underlying issues such as heart disease, which is already the leading cause of death on the planet.
Due to the pandemic, there was also a worrying trend of patients avoiding hospitals and doctors in the fear of getting Covid. But what one should remember is, the risk of heart attacks and heart stroke far outweigh the risks of contracting COVID-19.
Also,our heart attack related emergency admissions dropped by over 50 %. As a result, patients ending up with severe health issues.
This trend has been seen in many countries across the world as patients avoided hospitals due to fear of contracting coronavirus.
We can stop this trend by following these simple steps to keep our loved ones safe:
1. Raising awareness that heart patients are particularly vulnerable to covid 19
2. Reassuring that your local hospital has taken adequate measures to make it safe from contracting the virus
3. If you have an underlying health condition, such as heart disease, heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity, don’t let COVID-19 stop you attending your regular check-ups. And never avoid calling the emergency services if you need to – it’s safe and medical professionals are there for you
4. Where possible if face-to-face appointment with your cardaiologist is not possible then at least get a video consultation. Video consultation will aid in assessing if you need to come to hospital or home care alone is sufficient.
5. Look after your hearts and help to prevent CVD by eating a healthy diet, saying no to tobacco, sticking to safe alcohol guidelines, getting plenty of exercise – setting an example for our children and loved ones.